CULVER – Culver Community girls’ basketball team, the Class 1A Sectional 50 host, used the “second season” to avenge a 71-34 regular season loss Jan 14 by upsetting the defending sectional champions, the Triton Trojans, 58-46 Saturday night.

Despite poor first half shooting (10 for 33, 30%), the Trojans took a 24-17 lead in the locker room. The only problem on their hands seemed to be how to neutralize the only shooter on the floor with a hot hand, the Culver Cavaliers’ Rose Peterson, who kept the tournament hosts in reasonable reach of Triton, scoring 12 of her squad’s 17 first half points.

Peterson was even more explosive in the second half. The Cavaliers’ guard scored 14 of her team’s 18 third quarter points to close the third period tied with Triton 35-35. She closed out the night as the game’s leading scorer with 37 points including eight 3-point baskets. Defensively, she played a pivotal role in disrupting Triton’s offensive attack with 6 steals and 6 rebounds.

The Trojans finished the contest hitting 19 of 61 shots (31%) including 4 of 22 (18%) beyond the arc. The blue and gold also had free-throw shooting woes with a 6 for 16 (38%) showing.

Triton head coach Kennedy Krull, whose team finished their season 13-9, uses a fast-paced offensive approach where forcing turnovers is key to a successful transition game. 61 field goal attempts is not a shocking number for the Trojans.

“We shoot the ball a lot because the more you shoot the more chances you have to score,” Krull said. “Tonight, though, that didn’t work for us because we weren’t shooting well, but our offensive pace, even when we were down four points with 39 seconds left, I never felt like we were out of the game.”

Krull’s squad had three opportunities inside the last minute of play – down 52-46, and 52-48 to force the game into a tie, and possibly overtime. Culver’s intensity, however, was uncompromised. Krull noted it’s her opponent’s trademark.

“When we played them in January they played with the same hustle and high effort whether they were trailing by four or by forty,” Krull remarked. “Culver is a team who never stops hustling. I think the intimidating factor in tonight’s game was knowing they wouldn’t let up one bit.”

Grace Sieber added six points off the bench, and Avery Garland added five points before fouling out to lend Peterson a hand offensively. Culver had 14 points off the bench. Triton’s bench was held scoreless.

Addy Viers (18 points, 7 rebounds), led Triton’s offense followed by Jocelyn Faulkner’s 15 points and 6 rebounds. Taren Yates, Jolie Groves, and Kinsey Atkins added 5 points apiece. Yates added game highs in rebounds (10), and assists (7) to go with 6 steals. The senior point guard played the final 7;31 with four fouls. Groves chipped in with 8 boards.

Krull acknowledged Triton will miss their two seniors, Yates, and Groves.

“We have two big pair of shoes to fill,” the first-year coach said. “Taren Yates is our communicator, our point guard. She fills up the stat sheet. She’s been a leader from the beginning. Jolie Groves is the textbook definition of a role player. In her first year of varsity, she led by example and kept things flowing in ways some people can’t see.”